Past-Bus Conductor who is now worshipped by his fans; Birthday Special

The birthday of Rajnikanth is no less than a celebration for his fan. The south superstar is turned 69 this year.

Ranjnikanth was born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad on 12 December 1950, his father was a police constable, he was named after the Maratha empire king Shivaji. He is youngest of the four sibling with two elder brother and a sister, and his mother was a housewife, but he lost his mother when he was nine. He did his schooling from a government school in Banglore. After his father’s retirement from work, in 1956, they moved to suburb of Hanumanta Nagar in Banglore, and built a house there.

Upon completion of his schooling, he performed several jobs like coolie, and carpenter before joining Banglore Bus Transport. He continued to take part in plays after the Kannada playwright Topi Muniappa offered him a chance to act in one of his mythological plays. He decided to take up an acting course in the newly formed Madras Film Institute after coming across an advertisement. Though his family was not fully supportive of his decision to join the institute, his friend and co-worker Raj Bahadur motivated him to join the institute and financially supported him during this phase.

Rajinikanth began his film career with the Tamil filmApoorva Ragangal (1975), directed by K Balachander. He was cast in a small role as the abusive husband of the female lead played by Srividya. The film explored relationship between people with wide age difference and was deemed controversial upon release. However, it received critical acclaim and won Three National Film Award including the Award for best Tamil Feature at the 23rd National Film Award in 1976. A review from ‘The Hindu’ noted that: “Newcomer Rajinikanth is dignified and impressive”.His next release was Puttanna Kanagal’s portmanteau Kannada film Katha Sangama (1976).

In 1978, Rajinikanth had 20 releases across Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. His first film of the year was P. Madhvan’s Shankar Salim Simon (remake of Amar Akbar Anthony), in which he was among the three leads.

Raijinikanth, who credited Hindi film star Amitabh Bachchan as his inspiration,began playing Amitabh Bachchan’s roles in Tamil remakes of his films. This began with Shankar Salim Simon (1978), a remake of Amar Akbar Anthony(1977), followed by Naan Vazhavaippen (1979), a remake of Majboor (1974). He was subsequently cast in a series of roles modelled after Amitabh Bachchan in Tamil remakes of his films.Rajinikanth starred in eleven Tamil remakes of Amitabh Bachchan films, as well as a Telugu remake of Amar Akbar Anthony, Ram Robert Rahim (1980), alongside Sridevi. The most successful of these were remakes of Salim-Javed films, such as Billa (1980), Thee (1981) and Mr. Bharath (1986).

During this phase of his career, Rajinikanth abruptly chose to quit acting, but was coaxed to return with the Tamil film Billa (1980), a remake of the Bollywood blockbuster Don (1978), written by Salim-Javed and starring Amitabh Bachchan. Billa had Rajinikanth playing dual roles and eventually became his first ever commercial success.

After earning ₹26 crore (equivalent to ₹59 crore in 2018) for his role in Sivaji (2007), Rajinikanth became the highest-paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan at the time. He has worked in other regional film industries of India and has also appeared in the cinemas of other nations, including that of the United States.

Rajinikanth worked again with Shankar for the science fiction film Enthiran.The film was released worldwide in 2010 as the most expensive Indian film ever made, ultimately becoming the second highest-grossing film in India of its time. Rajinikanth was paid a remuneration of ₹45 crore (equivalent to ₹75 crore in 2018) for the film.

 As of 2019, Rajinikanth has won six Tamil Nadu State Film Awards—four Best Actor Awards and two Special Awards for Best Actor—and a Filmfare Best Tamil Actor Award. In addition to acting, he has also worked as a producer and screenwriter. Apart from his film career, he is also a philanthropist, spiritualist, and serves as an influence in Dravidian politics.

The Government of India has honored him with the Padma Bhushan (2000) and the Padma Vibhushan (2016). At the 45th International Film Festival of India (2014), he was conferred with the “Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year”. At the 50th edition, he will be honored with the Icon of Global Jubilee award. M;I��l������

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